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  • Image with the flags of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    Image with the flags of Canada, Mexico and the United States. | Photo: Twitter/ @MotoringChat

Published 14 March 2020

The Canadian House of Commons and Senate Friday approved the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), shortly before Parliament adjourned until April 20,  a decision that was made as a result of the COVID-19 spread.

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The last step will be likely completed on Saturday when Canada's Governor-General Julie Payette, who exercises the functions of Head of State, signs the text ratified by Parliament.

According to the leader of the Liberal Party in the Lower House, lawmaker Pablo Rodriguez, the expedited approval of the USMCA would be a demonstration that all parties take seriously the consequences that the Covid-19 pandemic could have for Canadian society.

Previously, Mexico and the United States have already ratified the new agreement, which replaces the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada's Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been in quarantine since it became known on Thursday that his wife contracted COVID-19, had indicated that ratification of the USMCA was one of his priorities.

Before the outbreak appeared, however, the Conservative Party, which is the main opposition force in Canada, indicated its intention to slow down the ratification of the USMCA.​​​​​​​

This new trade agreement reached an almost final first version in Nov. 2018, after two years of negotiations between the three countries involved.

It emerged due to pressure from President Donald Trump who considered that NAFTA had been a "disaster" for his country because it supposedly only favored Mexico and Canada.

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